GILGIT: The Indian army’s casualties doubled in recent days, rendering the cost of ceasefire violations unbearable for the adversary, Commander of 10 Corps Lieutenant-General Malik Zafar Iqbal said on Friday.
“Only 20 of our soldiers embraced martyrdom while they lost more than 40 soldiers,” the corps commander told a selected gathering of parliamentarians and journalists in Gilgit. The gathering was also attended by the region’s Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman, and Commander of Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA) Major-General Saqib Mehmood.
“If they violate the ceasefire during the day, we manage to settle the score before evening, but if it [the violation] occurs during night, we respond in kind before dawn,” said Lt-Gen Malik Zafar Iqbal.
Earlier, the corps commander visited the Khunjerab Top – the entry point of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – where he inaugurated an ATM machine.
According to him, India had set up a special section within its intelligence apparatus for obstructing the CPEC. “But we are ready to foil the enemy’s nefarious designs.”
The corps commander, who visited the area 10 days after a sit-in was staged by a religious group on the Karakoram Highway, urged public representatives to settle internal conflicts through negotiations, instead of staging protest demonstrations on highways.
He said until recently, the government had been worried about the law and order situation in G-B, but the region was now one of the most peaceful areas in the world because of the combined efforts of government and public representatives. “This is all because of teamwork,” he said.
Expressing the hope for rapid development, the corps commander said: “Work will soon start for building a cadet college at Chilas and Gilgit-Skardu road after completion of formalities.”
“The army is determined to eliminate terrorism across the country,” he was quoted as telling the chief minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2016.